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Mon 3 Dec 2012 to Mon 4 Mar 2013 to be announced

Dutch parliament abolishes blasphemy law

Blasphemy is no longer an offence in The Netherlands, after a majority of parties in parliament agreed that the law was no longer relevant. 

The move was enabled after the Liberal Party (VVD) finally threw its weight behind the motion to repeal the offence, having blocked it in the past to avoid losing the support of the conservative Reformed Political Party (SGP). The law against blasphemy had not been invoked in the country for over half a century.

Much debate over the issue was sparked by a court ruling in 2011 which allowed the far-right politician Geert Wilders to make strong criticisms of Islam. 

It will remain unlawful to be disrespectful to a police officers or to insult the Dutch monarch, Queen Beatrix. 

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